Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Be a Difference Maker

I failed to write down the name of the name of the pastor who preached it, but the following are my Bible study notes from a sermon titled "Being a Difference Maker."

The scripture passage for this sermon is 2 Samuel 11:6-17.
Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and a present from the king was sent out after him.  But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.  Now when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?”  Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.”  Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.  Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his lord’s servants, but he did not go down to his house. - 2 Samuel 11:6-17
  Faithful men on a mission from God will make a difference in the Kingdom of God.

Be a Difference Maker
Image Credit - Jeremy Yap - CCO Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos

Be A Difference Maker

1.  Fight.  Faith (or a mission) is something worth fighting for.  David should have been on a mission but he wasn't.

2.  Focus.  David was leisurely enjoying his comforts.  He chose pleasure over mission.  Uriah chose mission over pleasure.  David became sidetracked and lost his joy.  He lost greatly because of his sin.

Sin is costly.

3.  Finish well.  Uriah understood that the mission was worth his life.

Note for older believers.  Don't think you're done because you're in the 3rd or 4th quarter of your life.  This period of time is what the "game" is all about.  If we don't play now, we lose.

We can become grumpy old men and women . . . or we can become difference makers.

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Loving Others During Difficult Times

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When all is right with the world, loving others during difficult times is not so hard.  In fact, it's pretty easy.  When things are going well, it's easy enough to call and offer a friend encouragement.  It's easy to check on a family member and maybe take someone a meal.  It's not so hard to forgive someone when life is going well and the future looks bright.

What about during the difficult times?  When things are not going so well, we might find it a little harder to forgive a hurt.  It's a little bit harder to call a friend.  I mean, how can we offer encouragement when we need it ourselves?  It's just hard sometimes.
Loving Others During Difficult Times
Image Credit - Virandek - CCO Public Domain Image - via Pixabay

Love anyway.

The times when we feel the most useless is when God can use us the most.  Let's try to use the difficult times as learning experiences.   I've been through difficult times.  Most of us have.  I remember my needs.  I remember the things others did to encourage me through my darkest days.  I use those memories as a guide to help me know what to do when others suffer.

Gini at Dayspring Cards and Gifts has written a wonderful post about loving others during difficult times.

Loving in the Tough Times

by Gini at Dayspring

It usually happens when your life seems to be moving along seamlessly - you’ve perfected your morning routine, planned adequately for afternoon activities, and this week’s dinner menu is working out fabulously. Your husband and kids are playing along and all in all, you feel like you finally have the upper hand on this crazy balancing act we call life.

Then, something happens - you suddenly lose a loved one, get laid off from work, become diagnosed with a serious illness, or experience an unwanted life-changing event - all of which brings your seamless balancing act to an abrupt halt. And, you find yourself curled up in bed, no longer caring about routines or activities and the last thing on your mind is dinnerDuring these times, it’s easy to isolate yourself by pushing your loved ones away, [Read more . . . ]

Pressed Beyond Strength - Living Through Hard Times

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I failed to write down who originally preached the sermon ,but the following are my Bible study notes from a sermon titled "Pressed Beyond Strength."
For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us. - 2 Corinthians 1:8-10

Pressed Beyond Strength
Image Credit - Ben White - CCO Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos

I'm sure you've heard the saying:  "God will never put on you more than you can bare."  Friend, this is not true.  Whoever originally came up with it meant well, I'm sure, but the fact is that it is simply not scriptural.  Look at the scripture above.  Paul wrote that they were "burdened excessively, beyond our strength."   Read 1 Corinthians 10:13.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. - 1 Corinthians 10:13
The scriptures teach us that God will provide a way of escape.  It is only with Him and through Him that we can bare excessive burdens.

Pressed Beyond Strength - Living Through Hard Times

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